Hiking The Lands End Trail in San Francisco - A Photo Tour
Lands End Trail is one of the most amazing places to visit in San Francisco. It's hard to believe that such a beautiful piece of nature exists in such a big city. It is definitely a great place to escape from all the hustle and bustle near downtown. For its runner friendly environment, Lands End Trail was featured in my hub The Five Best Places to Run In San Francisco. Run, walk, or relax, it is an amazing place to visit with remarkable scenery. This article features some of the remarkable sights along Lands End Trail with the photographs telling the story. All the photographs were taken by my wife and me during a recent walk along the trail at sunset. We were lucky enough to be there on a perfectly clear night.
This photograph shows the Lands End Trail beginning. There is a map with information at the start of the trail with details on the various things to look for. There is a parking lot just above the Cliff House at the start of the trail. The Parks Conservancy website has many details such as a map, driving directions, and a satellite view. The site also provides tips for visitors with specific historical recommendations such as shipwrecks. There is some history also explained on the site.
The tree line is quite spectacular along the cliffs overlooking the beach. There are short offshoots from the main trail where one can catch a better glimpse of the ocean below. The remnants of the old Sutro Baths are also visible from here. Maintenance and revitalization are ongoing to maintain the scenery and accessibility. Currently there is building construction occurring which will house exhibits, retail items, and a cafe.
Along the trail you will catch one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge. This view is seen along almost the entire hike. As sun sets, the bridge lights up and looks unbelievable. It's definitely worth the wait for sunset but be cautious as the trail is unlit. Along the cliff, a trail descends to the clothing optional Baker Beach. This is a great place to get an even closer look at the Golden Gate Bridge. There is parking here with restrooms and grills available.
There is trail off the main path toward the coast to Mile Rock beach with some amazing views. The sand is accessible and it is a great place to watch the sunset. There is also a great outlook with the Golden Gate Bridge to the North and the Pacific Ocean to the South.
After descending the staircase to Mile Rock Beach, a small pathway to the right reveals an outlook with a Labyrinth. The Labyrinth is consistently maintained and is a great place for relaxation and meditation. The views are great and this area does not get overly crowded with sightseers.
The sunset at Lands End Trail is spectacular on a clear day. Those in San Francisco should have a short walk along this trail, especially when the weather is great. The total distance is just over 3 miles and is dog friendly. Don't forget your cemera!